Untitled (Blackboard)

Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986)


Framed 105.4 x 135.9 cm (41.5 x 53.5 in.) Unframed 99.1 x 129.5 cm (39 x 51 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

White and colored chalks on blackboard with wooden frame

Not On View


Contemporary Art, Europe



In 1972 Beuys was summarily dismissed from the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he had been a revered teacher. He then embarked on a series of public lectures, using blackboards to illustrate what he termed his “expanded concept of art,” which incorporated science and economics and related social order to a living organism. This rare early example of Beuys’s blackboards was created on April 20, 1973 during his presentation entitled 12 Hour Lecture - An Homage to Anachrsis (Anacharsis) Cloots” at Melville College in Edinburgh, Scotland. The complex drawing includes a number of Beuys’s personal symbols - heart, stag, plants, sun, and the name of the eighteenth-century social theorist Anarcharsis Cloots.


UPPER LEFT, VERSO of blackboard:
Joseph Beuys
12h lecture
20 Aug. 1973

CENTER RIGHT, VERSO, metal tag on wooden frame reads:
Education C0 Ltd
School Furnishings
Edinburgh & London

On OBJECT FRAME, label reads:
Cadogan Tate
Removals, Storage & Shipping
23 [handwritten]
9000 [handwritten]
0366329 [handwritten]
Cadogan House
Hythe Road, London NW106RS
0181-969 6969


Galerie Rudolf Zwirner. Bernd Kluser Gallery, Munich. 2000, sold by a private collection through Christie's, New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 15, 2000)

Credit Line

Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Fund


© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn